Gingermermaid takes on Ireland (with sidekick, boyfriend)

In a few weeks time, me and my counterpart, boyfriend, are taking a transatlantic flight to the Emerald Isle. Our first international trip together (awwwww) and the boyfriend’s first ever steps off the North American continent.

We began planning this trip about month two into dating. I think it was a trick to ensure relationship status until at least April, and by then he would’ve manipulated me into thinking that he was such a “keeper.” Whether or not it worked is a moot point as the real test is two weeks traveling in a foreign (to us) country together.

We are going to Ireland proper, not Northern Ireland, as it’s part of the UK and we aren’t quite sure what one Gingermermaid’s status into Great Britain is after the debacle of 2008.

We are renting a car, so there is a likelihood we are going to die. Firstly, because that means driving on the left side. Secondly, because we will be using old-fashion maps (we aren’t renting a GPS at 13 euros a day, screw that). And thirdly, because whenever my boyfriend lets me drive, he inevitably pisses me off and I take it out on automotive and asphalt. Not to mention, according to my guidebook, some signs are in a traditional Irish lingo. At least I have red hair that means I automatically understand, right?

Ireland

I hate being a tourist, but I like touring, so the juxtaposition isn’t lost on me. I prefer to assimilate. This is very challenging to do when I’m walking around an area unknown to me, nose in a book that says Ireland for Dummies and navigating with a map twice my body size.

The chances are high that I won’t be well-received at my attempt to fit-in because I will surely attempt my own version of an Irish accent after a pint too many of Guinness and accidentally ordering a Black and Tan or an Irish Car Bomb. But hey, that’s why I run so much every morning, to prepare to flee from locals in foreign lands.

The general itinerary for the trip is not concrete. There are a few things we want to do, like my boyfriend wants to make out with the Blarney Stone (even though locals pee on it), and I want to ride horses in Killarney. We booked all our hotels/castles/B&Bs/etc. in advance, so it’s just a matter of connecting the dots and seeing what we find on the way.

We start in Dublin and end in Dublin. In between…ROAD TRIP!!!

The highlights of this trip for me are going to be staying in a haunted castle because I’m obsessed with the paranormal and extravagant living. And at the end of the trip, I get to see one of my best friends in the entire world, whom I haven’t seen in over two years. (She had to go and marry a Scottish guy and then move to the UK. Lame.)

Friend and I last saw each other in 2010 in Italy. She spilled gelato on my shirt she borrowed, but it came out so I forgave her.

Friend and I last saw each other in 2010 in Italy. She spilled gelato on my shirt she borrowed, but it came out so I forgave her.

She, boyfriend, and I will stay in an apartment for a few days, paint the town and environs a crayola box full of colors, and then we will all go our respective directions and get back to the daily grind.

I’m using all my vacation days up in one fell swoop, so I aim to have a quintessential epic holiday with as much travel debacle as I’m accustomed to…

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